(5) BLUFs: How to Make a G.O.A.T. a Scapegoat

#1 BLUF: Reddit, you’re a dope. It makes me sad you’re getting suckered.

#2 BLUF: Nope. Free Speech applies equally to bourgeois & disenchanted.

#3 BLUF: All companies are scoping BLM & their bottom line… MANY for profit.

#4 BLUF: Naaaah, I call bullshit. Facebook ain’t the problem, they’re the scapegoat.

#5 BLUF: Treating the ignorant willing as harshly as the malicious ain’t progress.

Boy oh boy, it’s the first of July, year of our lord 2020. Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway to next year… inching up towards the most ironic Independence Day celebration since the Emancipation Proclamation, or since the 19th Amendment, or since the 1964 Civil Rights Act at least, given the SIP and protest nature of the overwhelmingly pissed off America today.

Before I get going I feel inclined to first give disclaimer that I do not support Trump. He’s everything bad for this country that everyone says he is. It’s obvious. He should be out of office today.

I was reading the constitution last night (for real) and it seems like if enough people petition to congress we could just impeach (again, but this time:) based on the people’s loss of faith in him, no? If there’s a petition I’ll sign it.

However, as bad as I know he is for this country, I’m seeing reactions in the “right way” to combat his immediate dysfunctionality and incompetence in office in support of anti-hate and equality progress being done in a way that actually sets us back in the endeavor of reaching a better end state for the long run.

What I see in the headlines is that the group think is getting played, hardcore, and it’s NOT good for America, nor for advancing equality as seemingly intended.

There’s five headlines I’m using for this edition of BLUF (first is longer than the others), but what they all come back to is something Muhammad Ali used to do better than anyone: Rope-a-dope. Don’t be a dope.

#1 BLUF: Reddit, you’re a dope. It makes me sad you’re getting suckered.

I can no longer depend on Reddit to be a one stop shop platform for me to get a firsthand impression of ALL manner of things going on.

It’s a sad day. All this time, I’d been enjoying Reddit as a platform where folks outside of “center” could express their views with equal absolute value away from it, regardless of polar alignment.

Alas, that era is gone.

Reddit’s made a statement now on two fronts with this bitter double edged sword:

1: They are NOT a platform, they are a publisher, with a political point of view and will impose censorship in support of those ideals. 2: Their “community” does not include everyone.

For me, it’s not sad because I’ve actually lost access to content I normally look at. I don’t think I’ve ever found myself in The_Donald on Reddit at all.

It’s sad because I’m disappointed to see Reddit as an obvious hypocrite the way I do now, who, while well intended, are playing right into the division agenda that is setting America back further and further today.

I have no problem with them policing individual users‘ behavior and holding them accountable for hate speech and threats, but the community they deleted had 800,000 followers. They have definitely made a partisan statement in this action that is not just about removing “only” hate speech, objectively, immaterial of politics.

Mostly on Reddit I’ve curated my feed to be exquisite naked women (new to Reddit? Search “NSFW,” I subscribe there), news I can’t find elsewhere, beautiful art, extreme points of view, and for both beautiful and gritty pictures and videos shared directly from user creators showing situations on the ground with no filter.

There’s also some really funny fucking memes there. Totally ridiculous.

The value to me of Reddit as a platform was how I believed them to be proponents of free speech and equality. It was a place for freedom of expression outside the mainstream that helps us to see the whole spectrum of “normals” that are out there, and for people to find niche communities that are like minded in the kinds of views they appreciate, IMHO.

For the record, Reddit has gained market share of my time spent on its app vs. Facebook over the last few years, just as other social apps have too. But now that’s all different. Reddit is no longer a platform, they are a publisher.

I do appreciate Reddit taking a stand against Trump and wanting to support social justice, anti racism, and anti hate in a meaningful way. I give them an “A” for intention.

However, check out the notification I got for hot stuff to check out from Reddit today:

It’s news right? But 37.5K people like it on Reddit (at least), enough that the app promoted it via notification to me. Should we behead Jeff Bezos but ignore Donald Trump? Isn’t this story you’re promoting a form of hate toward an identity or vulnerability?

I bet you Jeff Bezos feels pretty fucking violated. Maybe he’s used to it, but does he deserve this? They brought a guillotine to his house. Reddit, you’re helping to spread this information… it’s not banned… I don’t think it should be banned, for the record…

But what about if this was a similar story, but happened to Stacy Dash or Candace Owens? If protesters showed up and left nooses outside their door, and Reddit users gave the stories likes and endorsements, and you promoted the story as your trendy notification… is that hate speech?

Would a guillotine be different in that story? Is it different because they are black and he is white? Or because of gender? Would it be ok since they are Trump supporters, for Reddit users to like and circulate that story in celebratory community?

Or is it just ok to hate Bezos because he is rich? Is there a list of people it’s OK to hate? Or is it ok to report about hate happening to others and like it, as long as you don’t comment saying more of it should happen?

Unfortunately, I don’t hate anyone, so can you explain the policy to me, Reddit?

I am in your user community… and I’m just wondering…

Where’s the line on who it’s ok to hate in your community? What’s more important: race, or politics, or human life? Or free speech? I’m just wondering.

What about this one, below? I didn’t get this off Reddit, but is it ok for Reddit now, or naw? It’s pretty spicy… should I re-post it?

Did you catch that hashtag? Some people might call this quite hateful, and racist, from Black Lives Matter. Is that part of the re-learning we need to do? Learn to ostracize others who aren’t “loyal enough” to their own race? What’s the insinuation in the tone here? To inform us, why? Hate?

I think it’s a perfect fit for on Reddit. THAT’s (was) the beauty of Reddit. On there everyone’s allowed to be racist and stereotypical equally. Like, “I am not prejudice, I hate everyone the same.” There’s equal shade getting thrown on Reddit as far as I’ve seen. This would fit right in.

But in accordance with their new stance, if applied equally, it should be banned, right? You can’t report real news today without there being some “hate” or “triggering” aspect of the content attached to it from someone’s point of view.

There’s hate all over Reddit that goes in all directions, not just the threads they’ve purged. To me this is just virtue signaling Reddit has sold out, bated by social currency into betraying free speech.

Please don’t take away glorious boobies from my feed next.

Reddit, you should get out of publishing and go back to being a platform. If you want to take a political stance, post a banner of your own content endorsing your candidate for office, point of view, etc, on the platform with the rest of us. Publicly disclose what you spend on politics and philanthropy, and champion the candidate you support for election.

USE your voice and the platform for good… but you’re fundamentally changing the platform by restricting it to your political view. Reddit should live for the cause, not martyr for it.

Invest money into under served communities to really improve access to opportunity and quality of life in them. Help lobby to change LAWS. Here’s a great list of 10 things that would all be more effective:

The haters that are out there, that you’re trying to stop from hurting people in real life… you banning them doesn’t make them actually gone, they can just make new accounts or go somewhere online less seen.

In that scenario you’ve really done nothing to actually bridge the gaps, only perpetuated ignorance of the threat. Reddit, the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of racist people of all colors. Racism perpetuates itself.

In order to bridge the gaps there have got to be collisions of racism against each other – hopefully, by discussion and learning, and myth busting, and calling it out. Reddit provides more potential to do good as a platform for those necessary collisions being more open and free, regarding its spectrum of expression.

Its the way you advance the cause culturally beyond your money. Plenty of companies have money, but you have a platform that can directly allow us to communicate across the barriers.

Open it up and beef up security so that real life threats and ideations get caught and apprehended and so that law enforcement (yes, I said it) can get intel on domestic racist terrorists…

But when we as a “progressive” culture normalize censorship of opinions we don’t like…it’s actually a step back in the direction of segregation, which is fucking stupid, and you’re playing into Trump’s “rope a dope” for why his agenda is ok too. Just saying. See # 2.

#2 BLUF: Nope. Free Speech applies equally to bourgeois & disenchanted.

Trump wants to divide America. He wants to make his opposition look like hypocrites and racists worse than him. Don’t give him the ammo. Continue to shine a light, stand by true American ideals. Focus energy on changing important LAWS FAST, cause that’s what he’s trying to do.

Any America loving American should love it that Americans have the right to burn the American flag in America. Just sayin. Burning an American flag is as quintessential America as saluting it is.

#3 BLUF: All companies are scoping BLM & their bottom line… MANY for profit.

Lots of companies are doing something to show they are behind equality, against racism and hate, or stand for some initiative around diversity in some kinda way lately. Heck, these last few months the only PR there is on headlines has to do with BLM, the pandemic, and politics, right?

The only way to get any PR is to take some stand on something in 2020, lol.

But the reality is that most businesses don’t practice what they preach or we’d all be alot further ahead than we are in freedom and equality, and this American cultural “re-evolution” wouldn’t be happening just finally now, nor quite the way it’s been going down.

Many businesses are looking for ways to leverage all the unrest into profits more than they really give a shit about social causes or are willing to invest in the plight of our under-served here in America. Heck, look at how shopping changed when the rona hit – and the rona is, ultimately, temporary.

Businesses have to consider the impacts of the movement now too.

If the kind of change that the blm movement and others are talking about actually takes hold, it will be much more of an enduring new normal for our society than any of these social distancing protocols everyone’s being all silly about.

Here’s the thing: It’s GOOD that companies are helping to spread awareness and good energy against systemic injustices, and that they’re putting time and money behind it at all. It’s about time. It’s also good that some are getting called out for virtue signaling, being hypocritical in practice, and disingenuous about their intentions around social causes for PR. Many of these examples are fairly obvious.

However there’s also shady invoking of “BLM” and “rights” or other buzz words going on, being used as a weapon in the headlines for competitive advantages in ways that sets those very same ideals back, in actuality. What’s happening to Facebook and Reddit stick out in this way to me. Beware!

The bottom line is don’t get rope-a-doped by PR just because it claims to be so woke, or whatever, claiming their move is actually supporting equality and/or BLM. Read between the lines, don’t just jump on the bandwagon. The snakes and crabs are abounding in the chaos, watch out.

#4 BLUF: Naaaah, I call bullshit. Facebook ain’t the problem, they’re the scapegoat.

I am totally ok with expecting Facebook to pony up some philanthropy to help move the needle for social justice… and I don’t think Facebook has a problem with that. Just so you know I’ve been to Facebook a few times. I’ve even brought my kids down to Hacker Way to hang too on their family day. The line of people that show up to take a picture at the sign is kinda amazing.

In my experience they are one of the most proactively veteran friendly companies in the Bay Area… and I get around. I’ve never worked there, so I don’t really know how the internal cultural is regarding inclusiveness, and I’m sure there’s some share of people who don’t like it there (like anywhere)… however, everyone I’ve interacted with that works there has seemed pretty happy to me, across a fairly diverse crowd in my experience. That’s my first hand impression though.

I want to support Color of Change, and stopping hate for profit, but I don’t agree with their demands on FB. I’m glad they’re getting headlines for their cause, but this is unrealistic scapegoating of Facebook for PR. Taking action against racist, violent, and verifiably false content is basically a war against Facebook’s core product: Americans’ hot air.

People are full of shit, verifiably, ALL the time on Facebook. It’s kinda what we do.

I agree Breitbart isn’t news people should trust, but The Root has the same little blue ribbon check mark with plenty of racism against white people throughout their media, and it’s on Facebook too. If we’re gonna talk about higher standards, they must be evenly applied, or they’re not really standards at all. Just sayin.

However, I don’t want Facebook dipping into judging the reasonableness of ideas beyond it’s responsibility to real life safety.

The companies boycotting Facebook virtue signaling their decision to be in support of Color of Change’s demands are actually advancing forms of anti-free speech and inequality in their actions. As a user I’m insulted they are attacking my Facebook rights.

Go to 1:36

Fix your own company, Unilever and the like, get off Facebook’s dick, and let us users speak for ourselves. We like to assert our agency too. They are now on my Super High Intensity Training (SHIT) List.

As a business move in the short term, it’s smart though, I give them some respect: they are reducing ad spend with Facebook for now, and getting free PR via “Stop Hate for Profit” and “Color of Change” and the “Black Lives Matter” movement while this kind of controversy is trending.

They’re getting FREE advertising right here… and elsewhere, because we’re talking about it.

More people will likely “vote with their dollars” in support of these boycotting brands which will uptick their revenues as a result of the social currency balance they’re successfully inflating. Those same people will probably post about supporting those brands on Facebook and/or Insta. America. Lol

Joining the Stop Hate for Profit boycott bandwagon does save brands spend and perhaps is gaining them revenue via social currency with consumers. Consumers won’t see beyond the cause claim, they’re not abandoning these brands… even tho the brand decision is more opportunistic than philanthropic.

Will these brands pass on those savings to Color of Change, or Free Press and Common sense?

Color of Change, if those brands don’t actually put money in your cause after boycotting Facebook you should call them out publicly, because they are definitely cashing in on you with this move. Coca-cola and Starbucks already played you, they’re just testing the waters.

Just sayin, Stop Hate for Profit organizations should get at least some of that $72B, no?

Please, Facebook, protect my rights as a user, and keep yourself a platform impartial in censorship of ideologies, so long as users’ behavior is within the limits of the law. Please stay out of being thought police.

Stop Hate for Profit, Facebook should take action on probable cause to report people on it’s platform using it to potentially commit violence or terrorism in real life to the law anytime they catch it. They have a responsibility to police their platform for real life threats IMHO, and we need more community reporting of online interactions that implicate real life harm. They should definitely police their users and uphold clear uniform standards in the community.

But it’s important to do this in targeted ways so as to hold the specific people accountable for their unacceptable behaviors, rather than implementing blanket restriction on content free speech.

In situations like the booger girls (above) and the like, I assert that Facebook should be partnering with law enforcement (FBI? Homeland?) so that the people who’s job it is to hold criminals and terrorists accountable in real life can fulfill their duty. Just kicking them off the platform isn’t enough. Our law enforcement entities should prioritize investigating more online sources of crime too.

But, regarding Stop Hate for Profit’s specific demand, if Facebook also took down videos of BLM supporters or members inciting violence against others too, alongside taking down anti-blm, would they still be satisfied?

And what’s the threshold we hold content to account that it incites violence? That ask as stated in their demand is too broad, to me.

And alongside holocaust denyers should Facebook ban flat earthers too? Upholding either ridiculous delusion is not illegal in and of itself. Asking for Facebook to censor free speech that’s not illegal won’t help get more steam for change… in fact, it may even alienate potential allies in principle.

Censorship is supposed to be as unAmerican as racism is supposed to be. And, news flash, Facebook ain’t the cause of racism and hate, its content is produced by the users and advertisers.

If you really want to influence Facebook’s rules, you need to inspire change in people, the users, and the laws.

If Facebook doesn’t give users what they want, the users will go somewhere else and Facebook isn’t much good to the cause then as an ally, out of business. If you want to try and force users that are unsupportive you have to change online laws.

Stop scapegoating Facebook and instead try to partner with them collaboratively in ways that they CAN be supportive of, which also advance change for good.

Facebook is not responsible for all the shit people put on Facebook, nor is it responsible for the shit people choose to do after looking at Facebook. If you feel threatened by someone on Facebook you should call the authorities, and also report them to Facebook and/or block them, perhaps. The lack of laws and law enforcement is where our efforts should be focused, not at Facebook.

Facebook’s job is “observe and report” and our government and law enforcement’s job is to crack down on terrorists and criminal IRL. There’s some great ways that tech and government CAN work together while also respecting individual privacy without probable cause… because once people post things, it’s no longer private and it’s fair game.

Unfortunately, the “when everything matters, nothing matters” mentality has gotten a firm hold on our progressive group think these days, it seems. We mustn’t abandon principles as a means to an end in the endeavors for progress. So doing only perpetuates hate and inequality and sets back achieving long lasting change.

I don’t mind Facebook labeling explicit content or implementing content warnings and disclaimer click requirements in order to see certain things. I mean, it’s just polite, ya know? Heck, even I put the “parental advisory” warning on this site.

Some things I see on Facebook, I want the warning. So I can brace myself. I see some ill shit on Facebook sometimes… but then again, I’ve curated my feed that way. I wanna see the ugliness that’s out there raw and uncut. Know your enemy.

I know not everyone is like me, and that’s ok. The way I see it, the labeling and image obscuration should be good enough for others and they should curate their own feeds too. If it’s not actually illegal, I wanna be able to check it out right there on Facebook and share it with my friends… that’s the purpose of Facebook.

I DON’T like Facebook getting pulled into labeling news sources and I don’t like it that they pulled that post of Trump’s, even though it was clearly racist with the white supremacy symbol very intentionally. Facebook taking it down allowed Trump to get away with it in a way that I don’t like. Let him leave it up so that the American people can see him for what he is, and hold him to answer for it.

When they help to censor him, they enable him to evade some liability. Just like it’s much easier to see roaches with the lights on, banishing ideas and content online that is not illegal, regardless of how disgusting it may be, doesn’t actually remove any of it’s threat in real life.

If there’s ANY chance of bridging gaps to reign in extreme hate and racism we have to have forums for very uncomfortable discussions between polar opposites ideologies. We’ve gotta cut through stereotype and resentful perspectives of the ugliest kind. It’s probably actually SAFER to try and have the dialogue online rather than in person for many folks, which is a capability that Facebook brings to the most people on earth of any other app.

For the dangerous haters, booger girls, kkk, and the like, who simply will not be deterred in their mission to do harm and spread racism and terror and are using Facebook to do it, I still would rather have them communicating in open forum in the main stream. It makes it easier to find them and hold them accountable in whichever way may be appropriate to those individuals.

As we learned from 9/11 and, in a way, George Floyd: Trees we’re not listening to can make a helluva lotta sound and cause a lot of pain when they fall outta their woods.

#5 BLUF: Treating the ignorant willing as harshly as the malicious ain’t progress.

I am all about accountability and progress. I’m supportive of calling out racists and racism and truly want to right our systemic injustices. I think the ostracization of would be vigilantes and false reporters, aka “Karen” types, is a great mechanism to shift really toxic behaviors in our culture in the absence of culture shifts supported by better laws.

People who go out of their way to meddle in other people’s right to liberty as if it’s their entitlement and who weaponize racism in reports to the police deserve consequences like getting fired and shamed when they’re put on blast. I find trial by internet to be a productive societal tool we have a result of tech in those circumstances, usually.

However, we’ve got to be discerning in jumping on the public shame bandwagon as soon as someone shouts racism online. Yes! Listen, act. But the listen part means look beyond the surface. It doesn’t mean jump instantly against anyone who is accused. Don’t soil the high road of equality progress by turning antiracism into modern day mccarthyism. People will weaponize it unjustly.

In this example it’s my impression that the owner of Kindness yoga in the article above was honestly trying to be an ally to black people, inclusion, diversity, and equality, but was just ignorant about race issues and how to be mindful about his privilege and sense of entitlement. He definitely did some offensive things, and deserves to be called out on it. But to me, it doesn’t seem like the outcome was appropriate given that I believe he really was well meaning.

He was trying to do the right thing, but oof!

What’s more here is that other black people who worked there didn’t feel the same way as the one who called out the business online and ultimately killed it off via the online shaming. People jumped very quickly on the bandwagon here based on allegation, and very effectively implemented consequence.

However, I don’t really think the cause was advanced here at all.

What about all the other good people (including black, women, minorities) who lost their jobs when this business had to close? Is the accuser here going to promote them on her Insta and try to hep them find new work? Inclusion means considering everyone, and I think this example doesn’t live up to that ideal.

People, we have got to be able to have collisions around race in the process of progress in order to get through reconciling equality into society and focus on mutual goals, not only the divisions. I like to think we can do so in a way that holds the malicious accountable, but brings along the willing but ignorant with dialogue and learning…

And love in the face of frustrations when people truly are trying to be part of the solutions but maybe just not getting it quite right.

Stories like this one can be very dangerous in discouraging more white people from stepping outside of what they know and being more supportive of black lives. Food for thought.

Thanks for reading! What’s your point of view?

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